July 19, 1806
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July 19, 1806


Drewyer and J. Fields set out early this morning in conformity to my instructions last evening.    they returned at ½ after 12 OCk. and informed me that they had proceeded down the river to the place from which I had returned on the [blank] of June last [1] and that it was 6 miles distant.    they passed the entrance of buffaloe Creek at 2 ms.    the course of the river from hence downwards as far as they were is N. 80 E.    they killed 8 deer and two Antelopes on their way; most of the deer were large fat mule bucks.    having completed my observation of the sun's meridian Altitude we set out, ascended the river hills having passed the river and proceeded through the open plains up the N. side of the river 20 miles and encamped. [2]    at 15 miles we passed 〈the〉 [illegible] a large creek [3] on N. side a little above it's entrance; there is but little running water in this creek at present, it's bed is about 30 yds. wide and appears to come from the broken Mountains [4] so called from their raggid and irregular shape there are three of them extending from east to West almost unconnected, the center mountain terminates in a conic spire and is that which I have called the tower mountain    they are destitute of timber.    from the entrance of this creek they bore N. 10° W.    the river bottoms are usually about ½ a mile wide and possess a considerable quantity of timber entirely cottonwood; the underbrush is honeysuckle [5] rose bushes [6] the narrow leafed willow and the bush which bears the acid red berry called by the french engages grease de buff. [NB: buffaloe grease] [7] just as we halted to encamp R. Fields killed a mule doe.    the plains are beautifull and level but the soil is but thin. [8]    in many parts of the plains there are great quantities of prickly pears.    saw some herds of buffaloe today but not in such quantities as yesterday, also antelopes, wolves, gees, pigeons, doves, hawks, ravens crows larks sparrows &c.    the Curlooe has disappeared.

On the South side of Maria's river 〈8〉 2 [9] ms. above the entrance of Buffaloe Creek

Observed Meridian Altd. of ☉'s L. L. } 59° 35'
with Octant by the back observatn.

Latitude deduced from this observation.    [blank]

Courses and distances July 19th 1806.
S. 80 W. 20 Ms. up Maria's river to the place of our encampment on it's N.
side.    passed a large creek on South Side [10] with some timber
in it's vally at 8 ms.    also another large creek [ EC: Sweetgrass
] [11] on N. side at 15 ms.    this last is 30 yds. wide but little
water at present.    the bluffs of the river and creeks are steep
and principally formed of earth, though there are some-
times thin stratas of freestone intermixed near the top of the
bluffs.— [12]
Ms. 20
N. 72° E 2 miles to a bend on the Lard Sid    lower part of a low Clift of
rocks.    large timbered bottom opposit and a large Creek
Comes out of the hills opposit which I call. The [blank] river
haveing made a bend to the Stard Side to the hills.    above the
Creek.    3 ms [tear] [p]assed Some high land [tear] [w]hich
the river    passed [tear] miles on the Lard Sid and [tear] on the
Stard Side.    river [tear] genl. bends to the Stard. Side [tear]
[East 9] [tear] Islands of various Sizes.    passd. an old Indian fort at 2
miles in a Small Island near the Lard Shore       (19)
North 1 ½ miles to a Lard Bend high Clift on the Stard. Side opsd. an
Island—    1 ½
N 60° E 1 mile to the point of a high Clift on the Stard. Bend    river
makes a round bend to the Lard. Side    3 m
N. 50° E 1 ½ ms. to a point of a high bluff on the Stard. Side passing a bend
to Lard. an Island. High Bluffs on the Stard. Side—    3 m
East 3 miles to Some large trees in the Lard. bend passing Several
Islands    river very much divided and crooked    Camped and
killed 7 Elk and 4 Deer and a Antelope and wounded    4 ½

I rose early and dressed Gibsons wound.    he Slept but very little last night and complains of great pain in his Knee and hip as well as his thy.    there being no timber on this part of the Rochjhone sufficintly large for a Canoe and time is pracious as it is our wish to get to the U States this Season, conclude to take Gibson in a little if he is not able to ride on down the river untill I can find a tree Sufficently large for my purpose. I had the Strongest and jentlesst Horse Saddled and placed Skins & blankets in Such a manner that when he was put on the horse he felt himself in as easy a position as when lying.    this was a fortunate circunstance as he Could go much more at his ease than in a litter.    passed Rose bud river [14] on Sd Side    [NB: So called by Indians; i. e. Itch-ke-pe (Rose) ar-ja (rivr) about 40 yds. saw many rs. bds., a beautiful]    I proceeded on about 9 miles, and halted to let the horses graze and let Gibson rest.    his leg become So numed from remaining in one position, as to render extreemly painful to him. I derected Shields to keep through the thick timber and examine for a tree sufficently large & Sound to make a Canoe, and also hunt for Some Wild Ginger [15] for a Poltice for Gibsons wound.    he joined me at dinner with 2 fat Bucks but found neither tree or Ginger.    he informed me that 2 white bear Chased him on horsback, each of which he Shot from his horse &c. Currents are ripe and abundant, i, e, the Yellow, black & purple spcies.    we passed over two high points of Land from which I had a View of the rocky Mounts. to the W. & S. S. E. all Covered with Snow. I also Saw a low mountain in an Easterly direction. [16]    the high lands is partially Covered with pine and form purpendcular Clifts on either side.    after dinner I proceeded on    the high lands become lower on either Side and those of the Stard Side form Bluffs of a darkish yellow earth; [17] the bottom widens to Several Ms. on the Stard Side.    the timber which cotton wood principally Scattered on the borders of the river is larger than above. I have Seen Some trees which would make very Small Canoes. Gibsons thy became So painfull that he could not Set on the horse after rideing about 2 hours and a half    I directed Sergt Pryor and one man to continue with him under the Shade of a tree for an hour and then proceed on to the place I Should encamp which would be in the first good [NB: timber for canoes] for the below. (It may be proper to observe that the emence Sworms of Grass hoppers [18] have distroyed every Sprig of Grass for maney miles on this Side of the river, and appear to be progressing upwards.[)] about 4 Miles below the place I left Sergt. Pryor with Gibson    found some large timber near which the grass was tolerably good    I Encamped under a thick grove of those trees [19] which was not Sufficiently large for my purpose, tho' two of them would mak small Canoes. I took Shields and proceeded on through a large timbered bottom imediately below in Serch of better trees for Canoes, found Several about the Same Size with those at my Camp.    at dark I returned to Camp    Sergt. Pryor had arived with gibson.    after my arival at this place the hunters killed Seven Elk, four Deer, and I wounded a Buffalow very badly near the Camp imediately after I arived.    in the forepart of the day the hunters killed two deer an Antelope & Shot two Bear. Shabono informed me that he Saw an Indian on the high lands on the opposit Side of the river, in the time I was absent in the woods. I saw a Smoke in the Same direction with that which I had Seen on the 7th inst. [20]    it appeared to be in the Mountains.

Course Distance Computed & remarks July 19th.
ms. by
N. 72° E 2 ms. on the Course to a bend on the Larbd. Side }   3
at the lower point of a low Clift of rocks of ¼ of
a mile in extent.    a large Creek entering the
bottom on the Stard Side nearly opposit which I
call rose bud River [21]    the river having made a
bend to the Stard Side to the high land above
the Creek    an extensive timbered bottom on the
Stard. Side
East 9 ms. on the course to a high point in a Stard } 19
Bend passed an old indian fort [22] on an island at
2 miles, the river passing under Some high lands
on the Lard Side from 3 to 5 miles, and under
high land from 6 miles on the Stard. Side. the
river haveing made two genl. bends to the Stard
Side    passed Several of various Sizes and
forms    river about 200 yds wide
North 1 ½ ms. to a Lard Bend passing an island.    high }   1 ½
Clifts on the Starboard Side
N. 60° E 1 me. on a direct course to a point of a high Clift }   3
in the Stard. Bend, river making a round bend
bend to the Lard Side & then to the clift above
point 1 ml.—
N. 50° E 1 ½ ms. on a direct course to a point of the high clift }   3
on the Stard. Side passing a Lard Bend in which
there is an island    high Clifts Continue on the
Stard. Side
East 3 ms. on the course to a clump of a large Cotton }   5 ½
wood trees in a Lard Bend passing several Is-
lands    river much divided and Crooked.    high
Yellow Bluff on the Stard. Side under which
part of the river passes. The bottoms wide and
extensive on the Lard. Side. Encamped—
miles 18 by land                             by water miles— 35

Saturday 19th July 1806.    a clear & pleasant morning.    two hunters went on Shore to go across a bend after the buffaloe & we proceeded on with the canoes round sd bend.    about 11 A. M. the hunters killed 4 buffaloe and a buck deer.    we halted and took the best of the meat or fat and proced. on    about 3 P. M. we arived at the white bear Camp at the head of the portage. [23]    Sergt. Gass and five more of the party were Camped here. [24]    they informed us that they had a fine road over.    they followed up the Tus-e-paw or buffaloe river [25] a Smooth road, then crossed a low dividing ridge [26]    came on Smooth plains.    the blanket mountains [27] to the left.    they had a large road.    a band of Indians had went before them. Saw one of their Sculp poles &C.    they Struck the Meddison river [28] above its forks and followed on down it about 3 days travel to this place.    considerable of cotten timber on its bottoms.    the plain Smooth    Soil indifferent except Some of the river bottoms are rich & good land.    they arived here on the 11th Inst.    they had killed a number of fat buffaloe and fat buck deers. Capt. Lewis and party lost 7 fine horses at this place.    they expect they were Stole by the war parties    they hunted for them untill the 16th Inst. then gave them out for lost, and then he Set out for to go up morriahs river    Drewyer Jo. & R. Fields only with him as he left 4 horses to hall the canoes past the portage.    he had not horses enofe to take any more men with him.    they had opened the cash or hole at this place & found Several Small articles Spoiled and opened the one below the portage and found everry thing Safe except Some of the mens robes.    they have geers fixed for the horses. Mcneal was attacked by a white bear.    his horse threw him So near the bear that he had not time to Shoote but drew his gun and Struck the bear across the head and broke off the brich of his gun and Stonded the bear So that he had time to climb a Sapling.    the bear kept him on the tree about 3 hours.    then the bear left him    he caught his horse and returnd. to Camp.    we took our baggage out of the canoes and halled them out to dry &C.    the Musquetoes verry troublesome indeed    much worse than they were last year.—


Saturday 19th.    The weather continues pleasant and most of the men are employed in dressing skins, as we have got all ready for crossing the portage as soon as the canoes arrive. The musquitoes were very troublesome to day. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon, a sergeant and nine men [29] arrived at our camp, with the canoes and some baggage. They informed me that they had a good passage over the mountains to the Missouri; [30] and on their way, saw a boiling-hot spring, [31] which in twenty-five minutes would boil meat put into it, quite well and fit for eating.— This spring is on the head waters of Wisdom river. [32] They had got to the canoe-deposit on the 8th instant [33] and found every thing safe: the whole party then came down to the forks at the mouth of Jefferson river; [34] where Capt. Clarke with ten men and the interpreter left them, [35] and went up Gallatin's river in order to cross over to the Jaune, or Yellow-stone river. [36] They had plenty of provisions all the way. In the evening we hauled the canoes out to dry.

1. On June 5, 1805, Lewis reached a point on the Marias River above the mouth of Horse Coulee, in Liberty County, Montana. (back)
2. The camp was on the Marias, in Toole County, Montana, a mile or so west of the Liberty County line. (back)
4. The Sweetgrass Hills, in Toole and Liberty counties; the three mountains are West Butte, Gold Butte (Tower Mountain), and East Butte. (back)
5. Either common snowberry, or Western snowberry, Symphoricarpos occidentalis Hook. Booth & Wright, 234. (back)
6. Probably western wild rose, or possibly prickly rose, Rosa acicularis Lindl. Ibid., 119. (back)
7. Buffaloberry again; the French term is graisse de boeuf. (back)
8. The semiarid climate, the steep slopes, and the wind combine to retard soil formation. (back)
9. The penciled-in "2" may be an addition by Coues; the "8" is not clear and could be another number. (back)
10. Pondera Creek, reaeching the Marias in Liberty County. Someone, perhaps Coues, has penciled in a question mark in parentheses after the word "South." (back)
11. Present Willow Creek. (back)
12. Near its mouth, Pondera Creek, cuts through glacial till, the base of the Telegraph Creek Formation and into the top of the Marias River Shale. The freestone is the lower sandstone of the Telegraph Creek Formation. (back)
13. The first draft courses and distances break after this day, since Clark's party did not move again until July 24, when they resume. Preceding the entry for July 24, 1806, and upside down on the page facing the entry for July 19, appear the following columns of figures. They represent mileages for the Yellowstone trip, although Clark has made errors in addition, in spite of attempts to correct. The final total should probably be 827. They cover mileages for July 13–19 and July 24August 2, 1806. Clark deducted the 48 miles he covered from the Three Forks of the Missouri to the point where he reached the Yellowstone (July 1315, 1806) to give him the number of miles he traveled down that river.
  35 dedut
239 = 48 = 191
14. Present Stillwater River, meeting the Yellowstone River opposite Columbus, Stillwater County, Montana. Presumably the captains obtained the name from the Mandans or Hidatsas, although it does not appear in the lists of Yellowstone tributaries in the Fort Mandan Miscellany. The term appears to be a Hidatsa name, mickapa aaši, "rosebud creek." The name should not lead to confusion with the present Rosebud Creek, in Rosebud County, Montana, the captains' "Mar-shas-kap river" (see below). Atlas maps 108, 115. (back)
15. Wild ginger is not known from this region of Montana; the search may have proven fruitless. Booth & Wright, 34. See June 27, 1806, for a medicinal use of wild ginger. (back)
16. The mountains to the south-southeast would be the Pryor Mountains. The low mountain in the east may be the area around Stratford Hill, from nine to seventeen miles south of Billings, Montana. (back)
17. Clark has reached the northwestern flank of the Bighorn-Pryor uplift. The uplift here brings easily eroded Niobrara and Carlile shale of the Cretaceous Colorado Group to the surface. The yellow bluffs on the south side of the river are principally formed of the Virgelle Member of the Upper Cretaceous Eagle Sandstone. (back)
18. Perhaps either the migratory grasshopper, Melanoplus saguinipes, or the Rocky Mountain locust, M. spretus; the latter is considered extinct from about the beginning of this century. It was probably Biddle who drew a red vertical line through part of this passage. (back)
19. Clark camped on the north side of the Yellowstone River in Stillwater County, south of present Park City, where he remained until July 24; the so-called Canoe Camp. Atlas maps 108, 115. (back)
20. The number here may be "17." The smoke was seen on July 18, 1806; see n. 6 for that date. (back)
21. The words "rose bud River" appear to have been added to a blank space, perhaps by Clark. In the left margin are the words "Mands. call," the first word representing Mandans. (back)
22. The "Indian fort" was just east of Columbus, in Stillwater County, near the town's airport. Atlas maps 108, 115. (back)
23. The White Bear Islands, or upper portage camp, was occupied by the outbound party from June 19 to July 12, 1805. The islands have virtually disappeared today. The area is about three-quarters of a mile north of Sand Coulee Creek, Cascade County, Montana. (back)
24. Gass had Frazer, Goodrich, McNeal, Thompson, and Werner with him. Lewis took Drouillard and the Field brothers to explore the Marias River. (back)
25. By "buffaloe river" Ordway probably means a combination of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot rivers that Lewis's party followed out of Travelers' Rest Camp, near Missoula, Montana. The name "Tus-e-paw" was applied to the Flathead, or Salish, Indians who lived in the vicinity of Travelers' Rest. (back)
27. Probably the Lewis Range of the Rocky Mountains. Ordway may mean blanketed with snow; Lewis and Clark called them the "Snowy Mountains." (back)
29. Ordway led this detachment with the canoes, sent down from the Three Forks of the Missouri by Clark; see Ordway's journal for July 13–19 for the journey. With him were Collins, Colter, Cruzatte, Howard, Lepage, Potts, Weiser, Whitehouse, and Willard. (back)
30. See Clark's entries for July 313, 1806, for his detachment's journey from Travelers' Rest to the Three Forks. (back)
32. The name the captains had given the Big Hole River; see their entries for August 45, 1805. (back)
33. At Camp Fortunate at the forks of the Beaverhead River, Beaverhead County, Montana, established on August 17, 1805. For the cache there, see Lewis's entry of August 20, 1805. (back)
36. For Clark's exploration of the Yellowstone, or Roche Jaune, River, see his entries of July 13August 12, 1806. (back)